8 Wonderful Facts About Yosemite Falls

One of the main attractions of a National Park in California is one of the most wonderful waterfalls in the world.

In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of interesting facts about Yosemite Falls!

1. Yosemite Falls is located in the Sierra Nevada

Yosemite Falls is one of the most amazing waterfalls in the world and is located in the Sierra Nevada, a major mountain range in California that is part of the American Cordillera.

They drop a total of 2,425 feet (739 meters) which makes it the 22nd highest waterfall in the world and the highest waterfall in North America!

Yosemite Falls Facts
Part of the Sierra Nevada / PIxabay

2. They are a major attraction in a famous National Park

The waterfall is one of the most popular attractions in the Yosemite National Park, a National Park which is managed by the National Park Service of the United States.

The park covers an area of about 748,436 acres (3,028.81 square kilometers) and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in California and welcomes nearly 4.5 million visitors every year.

Even though Yosemite Falls is the most famous, the park consists of an extremely high concentration of waterfalls, most of which are much smaller and have a much lower volume than the main falls.

Some other notable falls are the “Horsetail Fall” (2,100 feet – 640 meters), and the “Bridalveil Fall” (620 feet – 190 meters).

Yosemite National Park Waterfalls
Waterfalls in the Yosemite National Park / Pixabay

3. The falls consist of 3 separate sections

Yosemite Falls is a tiered waterfall that is divided into 3 different sections. These include:

  • The Upper Yosemite Fall – 1,430 feet (440 meters)
  • The Middle Cascades – 675 feet (206 meters)
  • The Lower Yosemite Fall – 320 feet (98 meters)
Yosemite Falls fun facts
The falls / Anushasekar2005 / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

4. The Upper Yosemite Fall is a spectacular sight

The most spectacular of the 3 sections is the top part referred to as the “Upper Yosemite Fall.” Its drop consists of more than half of the total drop and it’s formed by the rapid waters of the Yosemite Creek.

This Creek is about 13.2 miles long (21.2 kilometers) and flows into the Merced River which isn’t too far away. This is a 145-mile (233 kilometers) long tributary of the San Joaquin River, the longest river in Central California.

Yes, the top section of the waterfall is definitely an incredible sight to behold!

Upper Yosemite Falls
Upper Yosemite Falls / Diliff / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

5. The middle section goes pretty much unnoticed

One of the most fascinating facts about Yosemite Falls is that its middle section, referred to as the “Middle Cascades,” goes pretty much unnoticed.

People who don’t know there actually is a middle section probably would even miss it, even though the cascades which make up this section drop a total of 675 feet (206 meters)!

The main reason is because of its location. There is no viewing point that makes the cascades visible, except for a few spots on the trail going to the top section. The rough terrain they are located in also makes it virtually impossible for people to access the middle section.

Yosemite Falls middle cascades
Some of the Middle Cascades / Wiki Commons

6. The Lower Yosemite Fall area offers perfect views

It’s pretty much impossible to get access to the pool in which the Lower Yosemite Falls drop because of the slippery rocks. There’s a perfect location to get an amazing view of the falls right next to it

This spot is one of the most popular viewing areas of the waterfalls, together with the 3.5 miles (5.6 km) long trail which leads visitors all the way to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls!

Lower Yosemite Falls viewing area
Viewing area / Andrew Burnham / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

7. You won’t see any water during this period of the year

Are you planning to visit the Yosemite National park? Then you better not go in the late summer or early autumn if you’re interested in seeing the magnificent waterfalls!

This is the time of year that the waterfalls stop flowing, unless it’s an extremely wet year.

So when is the best time to visit Yosemite Falls? That would be during the late spring because then the current of the water is the most powerful. And who doesn’t like the spring, right?

Yosemite Falls without water
Falls without water / LiAnna Davis / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

8. The falls are haunted according to a Native American legend

Well, not the entire waterfall but the pool in which the Lower Yosemite Falls drop. That’s according to a legend of the Native American people who used to live in a village near the foot of the waterfall called the “Ahwahneechee.”

The plunge pool at the bottom of the “Cholock,” the word they used to describe the waterfall, was believed to be inhabited by the spirits of evil witches. The legend came about when a woman who was supposed to fetch a bucket of water came back with a bucket full of snakes. Not too much later, the woman’s house was sucked into the pool of the waterfall, along with her newborn baby.

This story pretty much explains why the people living nearby avoided the waterfall at all cost!

The haunted plunge pool of Yosemite Falls
The “haunted” plunge pool / James Sumner / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en